Explosive plays hurt Davie on homecoming

Published 10:00 am Thursday, November 1, 2018

Coming into last Friday, West Forsyth had looked like not just a better team than Davie, but perhaps a much better team. But it was Davie’s football team that struck first against the favored Titans. It was tied at 7 at halftime and still a 7-all dogfight into the fourth quarter.

Yep, there were lots of positives for a Davie team that came in with a fragile psyche. But the visiting Titans denied Davie’s upset bid by big-playing their way to a 27-13 victory on Davie’s homecoming. West runner G’mone Wilson scored on 48- and 61-yard bursts; otherwise he had 25 carries for 84 yards. West quarterback Jalen Ferguson fired 45- and 33-yard TD passes; otherwise he threw for 64 yards.

A handful of game-swinging plays left Davie coach Tim Devericks asking … what if?

The War Eagles (3-6, 0-3 Central Piedmont Conference) are mired in their worst seven-game stretch (one win, six losses) in 30 years. Their losing streak (four) is the longest in 15 years. Going in the other direction, West (6-3, 2-1) has won five of six.

“We went toe to toe with them,” Devericks said. “I don’t fault their effort. It’s just a lack of execution on a few plays. There were about six plays that changed the landscape of that game tremendously.”

Davie coulda/shoulda had West behind the eight-ball at halftime. In the opening minutes, Matt Hill recovered a muffed punt at the West 41. A 25-yard pass from Nate Hampton to Tate Carney gave Davie first-and-goal at the West 5. But then three plays went nowhere, and a 22-yard field goal by Skyler Schoppe, who came in 10 of 11 on FGs over two years, was wide right.

Davie did capitalize on a Zach Smith blocked punt that gave his team the ball at the West 22. Josh Robinson rumbled through the middle for a 17-yard TD as Davie grabbed a 7-0, first-quarter lead.

Davie cornerback Kristian Lyons laid out and barely missed an interception – the back judge ruled it a trap – that would have given Davie the ball deep in West territory. The near-miss came back to haunt when Wilson broke loose around left end for a 48-yard score that knotted things at 7.

“It’s a little easier being a head coach when you can call plays and they break them like that,” West coach Adrian Snow told the Winston-Salem Journal. “(Wilson’s) a home run hitter.”

Davie’s offense missed an opportunity in the second quarter, reaching the West 7 on a 22-yard pass from Hampton to Jack Reynolds. But then a 12-yard holding penalty pushed the War Eagles behind the sticks. Three incompletions later, Schoppe trotted out for a 36-yard FG try. Devericks ordered a fake, and holder Reynolds stood up to pass. West’s defense wasn’t fooled and it remained 7-all.

The Titans marched into Davie territory and Snow went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Davie 34. Defensive lineman Ben Norman stoned a run up the middle at the Davie 36.

Davie’s offense missed another opportunity on its final possession of the half. Hampton and Carney connected for 11 yards on third down. Two more passes to Carney moved the ball across midfield. Hampton tucked the ball and lowered his head to convert a third-and-2. Hampton’s third-down pass of 9 yards to Latham Chamberlain moved the chains again, but his pass on the next play was intercepted inside the West 5 and returned to midfield. The half ended with Davie’s Andy Flores and Matthew King making consecutive tackles for loss.

The War Eagles went to the locker room with mixed feelings. They had renewed confidence on both sides of the ball – 10 first downs to West’s six, 175 yards to West’s 129 and 6-of-10 conversions on third down – but they also knew they let West off the hook. With 91 rushing yards, Wilson was 73 percent of West’s first-half offense.

“We should have had 14 or 21 points and should have been ahead,” Devericks said. “We should have had a lot more pressure on them at halftime. We moved the ball down the field. We just couldn’t finish it.”

“At halftime, I told the kids I like this kind of game because I want to see what they’ve made of,” Snow told the Journal. “Our kids are resilient.”

Wilson made a game-turning play early in the third quarter, shredding would-be tacklers on the way to a 61-yard TD that put Davie in a 14-7 hole.

“He’s a tough tackle,” Devericks said. “He’s real slippery and quick. Other than a couple plays, our defense played well against the run because they’re a run-heavy team.”

Davie’s defense responded nicely, forcing three straight punts. Then Robinson busted loose for 45 yards to the West 15. The drive, though, bogged down and Schoppe’s 30-yard FG was wide right.

Now West was smelling blood. Wilson’s 5-, 4- and 3-yard runs provided first downs and set the stage for the dagger. With the Davie defense fixated on the workhorse back, Ferguson play-actioned and completed a 45-yard bomb to Trae Archie, the touchdown that broke it open at 21-7 with 8:08 to go.

“They did a little post wheel, and we had some miscommunication,” Devericks said.

“I felt good about the pass plays,” Snow said. “We knew they were kind of packing it in there to stop G’mone, and we felt like we had to take a shot.”

Davie’s defense had played with exuberance, but now it was coming undone. On West’s next series, on fourth-and-4, Ferguson connected deep with JaQuan McMillian for a 33-yard TD that made it 27-7.

Davie’s Bishop Norman recovered a fumble at the West 44 with 3:03 left. On fourth-and-goal, Hampton scrambled for a 6-yard TD. But it was too little, too late for the War Eagles, who struggled mightily in the second half (1 of 7 on third down, 32 passing yards and five first downs).

Robinson flourished with 24 carries for 144 yards, marking his third 100-yard effort. Wilson countered with 193 yards on 27 carries as West defeated Davie for the sixth time in seven meetings.

“That’s a credit to the offensive line, too, for staying on their blocks and giving Josh some two-way goes at the line of scrimmage, and he made the best of it,” Devericks said.

Notes: Robinson, who ran for 175 yards against Mooresville and 176 against Carson, churned behind blockers Camden Beck, Tanner Batten, Grant Copeland, Stuie Marshall, Owen Brown, Jared Simpson and Spencer Hoke. … Hill has four of Davie’s seven fumble recoveries. … Davie whipped Reagan 39-7 in 2016 and 37-14 last year, but it will be looking to pull a shocker in Pfafftown this Friday. The Raiders are 6-3, 1-2. Their scores: 54-18 loss to Richmond County, 47-7 win over North Forsyth, 42-0 win over Atkins, 34-32 win over Mt. Tabor, 14-7 win over Page, 49-7 win over High Point Central, 26-23 loss to Glenn, 48-19 loss to East Forsyth and 44-19 win over Reynolds. … Davie leads the all-time series with Reagan 6-3.

West Forsyth  7    0    7    13 – 27

Davie       7    0    0    6   – 13

First Quarter

D – Robinson 17 run (Schoppe kick), 3:11.

WF – Wilson 48 run (Kaplan kick), :36.

Third Quarter

WF – Wilson 61 run (Kaplan kick), 10:45.

Fourth Quarter

WF – Archie 45 pass from Ferguson (Kaplan kick), 8:08.

WF – McMillian 33 pass from Ferguson (kick fail), 4:19.

D – Hampton 6 run (run fail), 1:34.




Rushing 38-205 32-158

Passing 142 139

C-A-I 12-19-0 16-40-2

Punts 4-34 6-36

F-L 2-2 0-0

Penalties 4-31 3-33

3rd conv. 4-11 7-17


West Forsyth

RUSHING – Wilson 27-193, Archie 3-8, Gordon 6-7, Ferguson 2-(-3)

PASSING – Ferguson 12-19-0-142

RECEIVING – Graham 5-24, Archie 3-66, Latham 2-16, McMillian 1-33, Wilson 1-3


RUSHING – Robinson 24-144, Hampton 8-14

PASSING – Hampton 16-40-2-139

RECEIVING – Carney 4-52, Reynolds 4-36, Robinson 4-31, Cranfill 2-12, Chamberlain 1-9, Crenshaw 1-(-1)